Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Man, waiting for the feds to wrap up their investigation of Mayor Vince Gray‘s 2010 campaign is like waiting for Pepco to turn the power back on: It’s excruciating!
While we wait, LL has another tidbit to share about what’s piqued the feds’ interest: campaign signs. Federal authorities have obtained records from at least two different signmaking businesses the Gray campaign paid during the 2010 run.
The Washington Times reported way back in March that the feds had asked for records from Drew Printing, a signmaker located in Capital Heights, Md. The store’s owner, Howard Andrews, told the Times he’d been paid $55,000 by the Gray campaign. But campaign records show the campaign paid the company more than $80,000.
Now another signmaker tells LL the feds also requested its records related to the Gray’s mayoral campaign. Gelberg Signs, a local signmaking company that’s long been used by D.C. pols, provided those records several months ago, says co-owner Neil Brami. Campaign finance records show the Gray campaign spending more than $16,000 at Gelberg. Brami says his company gets about 200 orders a month and he didn’t recall the details of the Gray campaign’s orders, including who placed them.
The feds aren’t asking for records from all the vendors who supplied the Gray campaign with materials. A representative at Platinum Sportswear, a T-shirt maker in Bowie, Md., that campaign records show the Gray campaign paid $6,000, says he’s not been contacted by the feds.
So why the interest in signs? The feds aren’t saying. But their interest could related to an alleged off-the-books shadow campaign tied to Medicaid contractor Jeff Thompson, whose house was raided earlier this year. Or maybe the feds are just trying to figure out who picked Gray’s lame color scheme.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery